If this were a normal Monday, a real Monday, we’d be starting a new week with football ringing in our ears. Lauding the three points we’d just won, bemoaning the two points we dropped, or staying positive and getting right behind the team after losing a game we should have won. You know, the way we always do.
As it is this is not a normal Monday, not a real Monday, it’s a Monday slap bang in the middle of the Interlull which means our capacity to enjoy this day is diminished. Productivity in work will be down, not because folk are being distracted by Arsenal, but because they’re distracted by no Arsenal. Such is the dearth of news and information that more time will be spent scurrying tither and yon than if they could just go to their favourite football site and read all about it.
People will find themselves in dark corners of the Internet they didn’t really want to visit but sure they’re there now and they might as well have a poke around. News of Arsenal players on international duty is something, I suppose, but essentially meagre rations for the malnourished. It’s like being starving only to discover than dinner is a half-eaten, two day old Pop Tart covered in soil with a side of lice freshly plucked from the viscid hair of a ragged street urchin who calls himself ‘Lepery Joe’.
The only progress we’ve made in years is the move to hold games on Friday and Tuesday rather than Saturday and Wednesday, thus making the Interlull slightly shorter and giving the manager more time with his players when they do return. In the meantime, however, we have to contend with things like more Stuart Pearce than normal and that is something no man or woman should have to put up with at any stage.
Despite the fact that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has now won 7 or 8 caps for the England senior team, Pearce would like him back for the U21s if, at some point, Roy Hodgson doesn’t fancy using him any more. Now, I’ll happily admit I’m biased against Stuart Pearce. Everything about him is annoying. His face, his public utterances, his cuticles, the way he tries to assert himself as a strong character and manager even though he has achieved about as much in the game as a bloke who picks his team for the inter-company 5-a-side tournament which they manage to win at a local sports centre, everything.
Yet even if it were a less annoying person talking the same way about using a now, more or less, established senior player in the U21s it’d be irritating. How about, you know, leaving him in the senior squad where he belongs and use the U21s to try and develop some new talent? Isn’t that the whole point of U21s, to give players international experience in a low-pressure environment because ultimately nobody cares what the U21s of any team do. Ever. You won the U21s World Cup? Well done, that’s right up there with winning the Combined Insurance Company Pitch and Putt tournament.
When a player proves himself a full international, playing him in the U21s is a retrograde step and if the manager of the U21s doesn’t get that then perhaps a new U21 manager is required. Only it’d end up being someone like David Platt, a great big moon-headed gimp with all the charisma and personality of a severed toe. So what’s the solution? Beats me, but the sooner we find a cure for international football, or at least the qualification stages for major tournaments, the better.
Meanwhile, Gervinho scored a goal playing for the Ivory Coast. I watched it last night on my iPad and some orange pixels (Gervinho) got through on goal and smashed some sort of white and grey pixels (the ball) towards the goal before hitting the underside of the bar and going in. I think that’s what happened anyway. Maybe now he has banished the ghosts of the penalty shoot-out which sapped from him not only the confidence every footballer needs to perform at a decent level, but also the motor functions required to properly kick a football.
His technique is so odd. Like if Arsenal were to do the crossbar challenge Gervinho would be the fella who’d shank his shot off to the left where it would dribble out of the centre-circle, coming to rest a good 13 or 14 feet away. And there’d be no pointing and laughing, just players looking at their feet because they didn’t know where else to look. He is Popeye without Spinach, Clark Kent before he hits the phone booth, Peter Parker in his day clothes, Scooby Doo without those snacks that are obviously amphetamine based.
We need this goal to be such a snack – obviously without the narcotics, we don’t need any Lance Gervinhostrong action going on – but hopefully it’ll do him some good because we’re going to need him throughout this season and if he’s all hopped up on metaphorical and confidence-boosting goofballs then all the better. I just wonder if he loses too much heat through the top of his head to be a truly effective player, perhaps he should wear a trilby or some kind of beanie in future, but I’d have to look up the Premier League rules on hat sporting. I imagine they don’t take kindly to it. Spoilsports.
Right, it is time to call this one quits. Make sure you check back later, we’ve got a competition in which you can win tickets to see Arsenal v Southampton this weekend. Till tomorrow.